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Srinagar to host I-League matches despite Real Kashmir's appeal citing political tension

More than 10,000 turned up to watch Real Kashmir make their I-League first-division home debut in Srinagar on Tuesday.
More than 10,000 turned up to watch Real Kashmir make their I-League first-division home debut in Srinagar on Tuesday.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will hold its next two I-League fixtures in Srinagar on December 5 and 11, despite reservations expressed by home club Real Kashmir FC about a fragile political climate in the Valley. Real Kashmir FC had approached AIFF asking for the next two matches (against Aizawl and Shillong Lajong) to be deferred to a later date following an escalation in tension in the Valley after the deaths of close to 30 militants.

I-League CEO Sunando Dhar confirmed to ESPN that...

Youth, better coaching, transparency: What Indian football can learn from Bundesliga

Ownership structure, consistent ticket prices, quality infrastructure and community engagement all contribute to the Bundesliga's popularity.
Ownership structure, consistent ticket prices, quality infrastructure and community engagement all contribute to the Bundesliga's popularity.

The Bundesliga recently announced a long-term strategic partnership with IMG Reliance to popularise the German league in India and help the growth of football in the region. While the Premier League and La Liga still rule the roost in India, Indian football can still learn a lot from one of the most successful and best-run leagues in the world.

Complete overhaul of the youth system

German football underwent a radical transformation in the early 2000s. Humiliated by poor showings in the 1998 World...

Unpaid Shivajians players left high and dry in the wake of DSK bankruptcy

The majority of DSK Shivajians players haven't received payments for the 2016-17 season.
The majority of DSK Shivajians players haven't received payments for the 2016-17 season.

Imagine going to work for 18 months and not getting paid. Imagine being assured the money will be credited, until one fine day, your employers wound up operations, leaving you stranded. This dystopian reality has hounded players of defunct I-League club DSK Shivajians, a majority of whom have not been paid after helping them to a seventh-place finish in 2016-17.

The Shivajians joined the I-League in 2015-16 as the league's representatives from Pune, after the withdrawal of both Pune FC and Bharat...

Beyond tiki-taka: The story behind Chennai City's remarkable turnaround

Under Akbar Nawas (centre), Chennai City have looked the hungriest team in the I-League. Nestor Jesus (left) and Edwin Vanspaul have been among the players who have impressed.
Under Akbar Nawas (centre), Chennai City have looked the hungriest team in the I-League. Nestor Jesus (left) and Edwin Vanspaul have been among the players who have impressed.

Edwin Vanspaul had a worrying question for technical consultant Akbar Nawas after Chennai City's penultimate I-League game last season.

"Tell us what to do, otherwise we are going to get relegated."

That penultimate game -- a 7-1 drubbing against East Bengal -- had left Chennai bottom of the table with 16 points. Churchill Brothers, above them, were on 17 points, with two games in hand. Chennai's last game was against league leaders Minerva Punjab.

Akbar told Edwin, a Tamil Nadu player who...

A goalless but 'very, very special' home debut for Real Kashmir

More than 10,000 turned up to watch Real Kashmir make their I-League first-division home debut in Srinagar on Tuesday.
More than 10,000 turned up to watch Real Kashmir make their I-League first-division home debut in Srinagar on Tuesday.

Over the course of an afternoon, Real Kashmir FC were given an extended version of what their debut season in the I-League would be like. Fifteen minutes before kick-off, the crowd was sparse, with genuine worry about how many would turn up to watch the first I-League first-division match to be held in the state. Fifteen minutes in, fans of several stripes, men and a few women (also sighted: one baby), had surged and fast-walked into the ground, packed the stands (the official numbers had them...